Combine only getting better and better
Combine Academy went 2-0 in the inaugural Hargrave Military Challenged presented by Phenom Hoop Report. After pulling out an exciting 66-64 win on Saturday against Teays Valley, Combine led start to finish in the 57-45 win over a very good and talented Beckley Prep IJN, that has over five D1 scholarship players on the roster. That being said, head coach Jeff McInnis is seeing his team continue to grow, develop and simply get better in each game they play.
Combine’s defense is their identity and once again they controlled the tempo and made it difficult for Beckley Prep IJN to get into any offensive continuity or rhythm. Every shot attempt was contested and their rotation defense worked to perfection as 6’8 junior Jacori Owens led the way by taking four charges that took away one scoring opportunity after another. Coach McInnis substituted beautifully and kept players fresh which allowed constant pressure defense. The constant defensive pressure wears down opposing teams, not to mention ten Combine players got into the scoring column.
6’8 junior Jacori Owens is the heart and soul of the defense. In the game against Beckley Prep IJN, Owens scored nine points, collected a handful of rebounds, but took four charges on his rotation defense. We’re talking about a strong, physical, active and aggressive power forward that will work hard to deny entry pass to the post, but also understands team defensive principles. He protects the rim, challenges all shot attempts in the paint and is a strong and forceful two-handed rebounder.
The Floor General
6’6 sophomore point guard Jalen Hood-Schifino only scored seven points, but his ability to control tempo and pace is extraordinary. With the use of the 30 second shot clock for this event, Hood-Schifino always stepped up and made a huge offensive play with time running down. In addition, with his size, strength and skill set, Hood-Schifino is developing into one of the most complete players in his class.
6’2 senior Christian Holland was simply terrific in the game against Combine. He finished with a. game high 19 points including three 3-pointers. The southpaw has tremendous touch and range along with beautiful shooting mechanics. We’re talking about a quick and athletic guard that should garnish D1 interest with his play.